Ethnic Media Roundtable Underscores that Citizenship is Easier than You Think

rsz_charlotte_roundtableOn Feb. 24, the New Americans Campaign and New America Media hosted an ethnic media roundtable in Charlotte to discuss naturalization for North Carolina’s nearly 136,000 citizenship-eligible lawful permanent residents. The discussion focused on the differences between applying for a green card and applying for citizenship. Participants repeatedly said applying for citizenship was easier than they anticipated.

Representatives from local Campaign partners Catholic Charities Diocese of CharlotteSoutheast Asian Coalition and Latin American Coalition spoke at the roundtable. Newly naturalized citizens also spoke about their experience with the citizenship process.

The event was attended by New Americans Campaign partners and clients, as well as mainstream and ethnic media, including nine journalists from local media outlets. Attendees talked about the role of ethnic media in amplifying the importance of citizenship and the stories of these newly naturalized citizens.

Henry Murillo, a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Colombia, said he learned about free legal services offered by New Americans Campaign partners through a Spanish-language newspaper in Charlotte.

“I didn’t know about this kind of program and service. I didn’t know that you could actually apply with a fee waiver,” said Murillo. He lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years before applying for citizenship and naturalizing in 2015.

Murillo expected the application process to be more difficult.

For more on the roundtable see coverage from New America Media.

Posted on April 12, 2016

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More